• Addressing the challenges of paramedic recruitment and engagement in AIRWAYS-2

      Pilbery, Richard; Green, Jonathan; Hall, Helen; Whitley, Gregory (2016-09)
      AIRWAYS-2 is an NIHR-funded study to determine the best initial approach to advanced airway management during out of hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA). Four NHS ambulance trusts are taking part in AIRWAYS-2: East Midlands, South Western, Yorkshire and East of England. One of the key challenges has been the need to recruit approximately 1300 study paramedics for the trial. The three main challenges in engaging and recruiting paramedics to participate in AIRWAYS-2 have been: ▸ Concerns relating to the potential results of the trial and what this will mean for the continuation of intubation for paramedics ▸ Concerns relating to the restriction on paramedic choice of advanced airway in OHCA and potential skill erosion ▸ Provision of training over large geographical areas at a time when morale is low and many ambulance trusts have recruitment and retention issues. How have these challenges been overcome? ▸ Communication: Identifying the most appropriate communication methods in each Trust e.g. face to face, email, internal trust operational updates ▸ Delivery of key messages: Emphasising why the trial is important and needed, and that its goal is not to remove intubation from paramedic practice. Obtaining the engagement of senior operational management to allay fears over impacts on service performance ▸ Valuing study paramedics: Paying clinicians overtime to attend training sessions, which contributes to their own continuing professional development ▸ Equity and opportunity: Delivery of multiple training sessions throughout each of the four ambulance trusts. Key achievements By November 2015, research paramedics had delivered nearly 350 training sessions and recruited in excess of 1300 paramedics to AIRWAYS-2. Conclusion The research paramedics leading AIRWAYS-2 have collaboratively, and successfully, overcome the main challenges relating to recruiting and engaging the paramedics in their Trusts. This should contribute to achieving the target patient sample size for the trial. https://emj.bmj.com/content/emermed/33/9/e12.1.full.pdf This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/emermed-2016-206139.38
    • Consensus statement: a framework for safe and effective intubation by paramedics

      Gowens, Paul; Aitken-Fell, Paul; Broughton, William; Harris, Liz; Williams, Julia; Younger, Paul; Bywater, David; Crookston, Colin; Curatolo, Lisa; Edwards, Tim; et al. (2018-06)
      Abstract published with permission. This consensus statement provides profession-specific guidance in relation to tracheal intubation by paramedics ‐ a procedure that the College of Paramedics supports. Tracheal intubation by paramedics has been the subject of professional and legal debate as well as crown investigation. It is therefore timely that the College of Paramedics, through this consensus group, reviews the available evidence and expert opinion in order to prevent patient harm and promote patient safety, clinical effectiveness and professional standards. It is not the purpose of this consensus statement to remove the skill of tracheal intubation from paramedics. Neither is it intended to debate the efficacy of intubation or the effect on mortality or morbidity, as other formal research studies will answer those questions. The consensus of this group is that paramedics can perform tracheal intubation safely and effectively. However, a safe, well-governed system of continual training, education and competency must be in place to serve both patients and the paramedics delivering their care.
    • Pain: understanding the biopsychosocial model and the paramedic’s role within the multi-disciplinary team

      Parkinson, Martin (2015-05)
      Abstract published with permission. Pain, and its consequent management, is a major factor in today’s ambulance service, with up to 50% of patients reporting pain among their symptoms when contacting the emergency service. This article explores the role of the paramedic within the multi-disciplinary team and asks the question: ‘What is the appropriate treatment?’ A study of the biopsychosocial model shows that modern clinicians who focus solely on the biomedical model are under-treating the patient’s pain by ignoring the psychological and sociological aspects. All this belies a culture of pain management where recognition and treatments of painful conditions bias heavily on some diseases while ignoring or dismissing others. This can, in the eyes of patients, make the individuals complicit with the neglect of painful and life-altering conditions that may permanently change the patients focus and aspirations for the future, and disconnect the patient from the people that are there to help them.
    • Paramedic management of out-of-hospital postpartum haemorrhage with TXA

      Wren, James (2017-09)
      Abstract published with permission. Background: As a result of some of the factors discussed within this systematic review, UK Paramedics are more likely to manage postpartum haemorrhage (PPH) within the out-of-hospital setting. This systematic review attempts to address the question: 'Is it suitable for TXA to be implemented within the UK paramedic management of out-of-hospital PPH?' Methods: Randomised control trials (RCTs) focusing on the effect of TXA upon blood loss during PPH were included within this review. A search strategy was created and applied to databases. Critical analysis of the included studies was carried out, and data were presented within tabular format and discussed through the use of narrative synthesis. Results: Eight RCTs were included within this systematic review. All studies found a significant reduction in the volume of blood loss during PPH when TXA was administered. Discussion: Although TXA was found to significantly reduce the volume of blood loss during PPH, existing evidence is insufficient to support its use within the UK paramedic out-of-hospital management of PPH. Without the presence of studies which are solely focused on the target population, it is difficult to generalise the findings directly to the UK out-of-hospital paramedic management of PPH. This systematic review does however support and supplement the findings of past and current research based upon the relationship between TXA and PPH.
    • Paramedic Pathfinder: is it really better than current practice?

      Goulding, James (2014-08)
      Abstract published with permission. Following the recent publication of an article on the Paramedic Pathfinder in the Emergency Medicine Journal, James Goulding argues that rather than highlighting a step forward for the paramedic profession, it serves as an indication that there needs to be more rigorous research before a change in current methods can be recommended.
    • Perceived areas for future intervention and research addressing conveyance decisions and potential threats to patient safety: stakeholder workshops

      O'Hara, Rachel; Johnson, Maxine; Hirst, Enid; Weyman, Andrew; Shaw, Deborah; Mortimer, Peter; Newman, Chris; Storey, Matthew; Turner, Janette; Mason, Suzanne; et al. (2016-09)
      Background As part of a study examining systemic influences on conveyance decisions by paramedics and potential threats to patient safety, stakeholder workshops were conducted with three Ambulance Service Trusts in England. The study identified seven overarching systemic influences: demand; priorities; access to care; risk tolerance; training, communication and resources. The aim of the workshops was to elicit feedback on the findings and identify perceived areas for future intervention and research. Attendees were also asked to rank the seven threats to patient safety in terms of their perceived importance for future attention. Methods A total of 45 individuals attended across all the workshops, 28 ambulance service staff and 17 service user representatives. Discussions were audio-recorded, transcribed and thematically analysed. A paper based paired comparison approach was used to produce an ordinal ranking to illustrate the relative prioritisation of issues. Analysis included testing for internal consistency and between-rater agreement for this relatively small sample. Findings The two highest ranking priorities were training and development, as well as access to care. The areas for intervention identified represent what attendees perceived as feasible to undertake and relate to: care options; cross boundary working; managing demand; staff development; information and feedback; and commissioning decisions. Perceived areas for research specifically address conveyance decisions and potential threats to patient safety. 17 areas for research were proposed that directly relate to six of the systemic threats to patient safety. Conclusions Feedback workshops were effective in the validation of findings as well as providing an opportunity to identify priorities for future interventions and research. They also facilitated discussion between a variety of Ambulance Service staff and service user representatives. Ongoing collaboration between members of the research team has enabled some of the research recommendations to be explored as part of a mutually agreed research agenda. https://emj.bmj.com/content/emermed/33/9/e7.3.full.pdf This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/emermed-2016-206139.25
    • A qualitative study of decision-making and safety in ambulance service transitions

      O'Hara, Rachel; Johnson, Maxine; Hirst, Enid; Weyman, Andrew; Shaw, Deborah; Mortimer, Peter; Newman, Chris; Storey, Matthew; Turner, Janette; Mason, Suzanne; et al. (2014-12)
    • Soiled airway tracheal intubation and the effectiveness of decontamination by paramedics: a randomised controlled manikin study protocol

      Pilbery, Richard; Teare, M. Dawn; Millins, Mark (2018-12)
      Abstract published with permission. Vomiting and regurgitation are commonly encountered in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest with a reported incidence of 20‐30%. Arguably, tracheal intubation is the preferred airway management technique in patients with ongoing airway contamination, but there is evidence that this is difficult to achieve when the airway is soiled. In addition, traditional suctioning techniques have been criticised, and training in the management of contaminated airways is limited. If standard suctioning techniques are not sufficient to maintain a clear airway and provide ventilation, then these patients will die, irrespective of the quality of chest compressions and the timeliness of defibrillation. This has led to the development of a combined suction/laryngoscopy technique to facilitate intubation, known as Suction Assisted Laryngoscopy and Airway Decontamination, and the creation of modified airway manikins to allow for practice in these techniques. However, to date there has only been one study specifically looking at the Suction Assisted Laryngoscopy and Airway Decontamination technique, and the outcomes were self-reported confidence measures of trainees in using the technique. The primary objective of Soiled Airway Tracheal Intubation and the Effectiveness of Decontamination is to determine the difference between paramedic first-pass intubation success, before and after Suction Assisted Laryngoscopy and Airway Decontamination training, in a simulated soiled airway. The primary outcome is the difference in proportions of paramedic first-pass intubation success, before and after Suction Assisted Laryngoscopy and Airway Decontamination training. Paramedic recruitment commenced in July 2018 and the study will enrol 154 paramedics by the end of 2018. The results of this study will contribute to the evidence relating to the Suction Assisted Laryngoscopy and Airway Decontamination technique.